J.T. Tai & Co Auction Totals $36.3 million at Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s Asia Week auctions began in New York with the much anticipated sale of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art from J.T. Tai & Co. The auction brought a stunning total of $36,312,493 and was nearly 94% sold by lot. The sale of more than 300 lots took over nine hours, with multiple bidders in the room, on the phones and online competing for nearly every lot. More than 81% of the sold lots brought prices above, and in many cases significantly above, their high estimates, reflecting the reverence for Tai’s legendary connoisseurship and the electric atmosphere in the salesroom. The remarkable prices achieved today were the result of a perfect storm of esteemed provenance, a strong market and attractive estimates.

The sale was led by An Unusual ‘Famille Rose’ and Gold Decorated Vase, Probably Republican Period, which sold for $18,002,500, having been estimated at $800/1,200. The vase was catalogued as ‘Probably Republican’ (early 20th century) and the estimate reflected this dating. There was a healthy debate surrounding the age of the piece, with a number of collectors clearly feeling it was significantly earlier. In the end, more than seven bidders competed for the vase, which finally sold to an anonymous bidder on the telephone.

Among the other exceptional ceramics prices were A Fine And Rare Blue And White Bowl Ming Dynasty, Yongle Period which sold for $1,594,500 (est. $800,000/1.2 million), A ‘Famille-Rose’ Vase, Republican Period which fetched $1,314,500 (est. $6/8,000) and A Fine Carved ‘Ding’ Bowl, Song Dynasty which brought $392,500 (est. $15/20,000).

Archaic jade was also highly sought after with An Archaistic Yellow Jade Ornament With Hinged Twin Discs Qing Dynasty selling for $434,500 (est. $10/15,000) and An Archaic Jade Fluted Ring Late Eastern Zhou / Western Han Dynasty fetching $338,500 (est. $1,500/2,000).

The archaic bronzes in the sale were led by A Large Archaic Bronze Ritual Food Vessel (Ding) Shang Dynasty, 13th / 12th Century BC which sold for $410,500 (est. $80/120,000).

Sotheby’s Chinese Works of Art Auctions continue tomorrow with Harmony of Form, Serenity of Color: A Private Collection of ‘Song’ Ceramics at 10am followed by Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art at 11.30am.

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